A Philadelphia anti-violence group wants residents to call it if they think a fight could be brewing.
The new campaign to curb shootings in North Philadelphia is called: “When there’s beef, call Philadelphia Ceasefire at 215-913-6917, and we’ll squash it.”
Philadelphia Ceasefire supervisor Quinzel Tomoney says the group mentors people who have recently been released from jail, or been shot. It also heads out to the blocks where shooting have already happened. He hopes the new campaign will prompt residents to call the group early on — so he and his coworkers can help before the bullets fly.
“We’re trying to get out in front of majority of the arguments and the conflicts that starts a majority of the shootings that’s out in neighborhood,” Tomoney said. “So we just trying to get out before they get to fighting, arguing, and then somebody go round and get a gun.”
Tomoney said with the community’s help, Philadelphia Ceasefire can help mediate disagreements before violence starts. He says once a shooting happens, the group focuses on preventing retaliation.
Tomoney knows all about that life.
“I was once a big problem out in the street,” he said. “I sold drugs a majority of my life. Like I’m 43, I’ve sold drugs probably like 30 years.” He says he started on a different path after going to prison.
Robert Warner too is familiar with the life many of the shooters lead. He’s now the program manager of Philadelphia Ceasefire and his phone number is the one listed on the group’s new flyers.
“We just need more of communities to come out and help us with this fight against the crime that’s going on out here.” Warner said he has no doubt the violence can be stopped. “We just need more people to care and put their heart into it.”
Warner pointed out that his phone is on 24 hours a day.